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green talk:
Saving the Environment, One Gift at a Time


Christmas may bring a much-needed dose of fun to the dreary winter days, but it also generates a lot of waste. Greetings cards, gift wrapping, product packaging and parcel shipping use up vast quantities of natural resources and place enormous strain on the environment. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help reduce the negative environmental impact of the holiday season without scrimping on Christmas spirit. TALK brings you a selection of eco-friendly and affordable gifts to make your Christmas a green one.


“Renewable ideas” company Bambu makes contemporary housewares from sustainably harvested and free-from-fertilizer bamboo, which adds up to a great range of green gifts for the home. The cheese-lover in your life will love the Fusion Cutting and Serving Board with Stainless Spreader (RMB 300), made from durable bamboo and hand-finished with natural wood oil, while the Epicurean Appetizer Set (RMB 345) is perfect for Christmas parties and includes a bar tray and three coiled bamboo bowls in cheerful kiwi colours.



Shanghai-based company Livegreen has a great selection of gifts that won’t cost the Earth. Their Eco-Commuter’s Set – which includes public-transport pass holder, purse, mobile phone cover and pencil case – is made from recycled polyester and is a bargain at RMB 27. Environmentally-friendly fashionistas will love the colorful Tetra-Pak Eco Bag (RMB 49, pictured). Made from recycled Tetra-Pak drink boxes, the bag is durable and waterproof, and the unusual design makes it a fun and functional gift. Short on stocking-fillers? Try Livegreen’s reusable Sportwear Chopsticks (RMB 15). Made from lightweight stainless steel, these chopsticks conveniently fold away to fit in a pocket or purse. All items are available from the Livegreen website, which also features a fun ‘Green Point’ scale, so you can measure the ‘green-ness’ of your gift as you shop.



Once a rubble-covered wasteland, now a certified-organic fertile field, Shanghai’s BIOFarm supplies many of the city’s hotels and restaurants with organic vegetables, sprouts and herbs. Now China’s largest supplier of organic products has created a range of gift baskets, packed full of the freshest and tastiest natural ingredients. And they provide a home-delivery service! A basket feeding one to three people for a week costs RMB 69. Sign up a friend for the minimum subscription of three months, or go all out with a year’s supply of organic goodness. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” according to BIOFarm.


Roots & Shoots Shanghai

If you still prefer the old fashioned snail mail route for your holiday cards, Roots & Shoots Shanghai has the eco-friendly answer. By purchasing the environmental education non-profit’s greeting cards, you will also be making a donation of ten trees to Roots & Shoots Million Tree Project – a surefire way to offset the environmental cost of paper for your holiday mail. MTP aims to plant one million trees in the Inner Mongolian desert by 2014. A tree donation will be added to this “ever-increasing forest” with every RMB 250 card sold.


Paper Tiger

There’s no point giving a green gift if the wrapping isn’t Earth-friendly. Paper Tiger has you covered with their range of 100 per cent recycled wrapping paper, which is printed using environmentally-friendly soy ink. The paper comes in a range of Chinese-inspired designs and is double-sided, so you have two prints for the price of one. TALK loves Tiger’s newest paper, ‘Shanghai HUTONG’, which features the iconic Shanghai skyline on one side and the ancient Hutongs of Beijing on the other. Paper Tiger gift wrap is priced from RMB 26 and is available at The Nest.



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